Responsible Service of Alcohol Update : Police Chief Advocates Ban On Alcohol Advertising

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has cited the lack of regulation of alcohol purchases as a contributing factor to the stubbornly high volume of domestic violence cases.  The link between bottle store purchases and domestic violence has led the commissioner to advocate among other possibilities, the idea of limiting alcohol advertising on television to after 8:30pm.


A new alcohol policy working group consisting of senior police and bureaucrats will investigate the suggestions by Scipione and the link between alcohol consumerism and domestic violence. Scipione has suggested that high rates of domestic violence can be attributed to the ease of alcohol availability which according to him is especially affecting women and children in the community. He said that while figures for non-domestic violence was declining, the number of domestic violence issues remained stubbornly high which is why the problem needs to be rooted out.


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The group, formed this year, is conducting a comprehensive review of the state’s alcohol licensing system in response to an offer by Premier Barry O’Farrell last year to give police whatever support they need to tackle alcohol-related violence.


The group will also examine venue and outlet density, which it believes is a ‘‘critical issue’’ for alcohol policy in NSW.


In an interview about measures the police are taking to combat alcohol-related violence, Mr Scipione said the numbers of non-domestic violence, alcohol-related assaults have been falling significantly for the past few years.


‘‘The bit that is not falling as much is the domestic violence, where alcohol is a factor – that’s the frightening bit,’’ Mr Scipione said.


‘‘Of course, that’s predominantly being fed through takeaway bottle shops. I think it’s worth looking at the impact and necessarily the sort of policy we might need to develop to inform government in this area.’’


NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data shows that between 2007 and 2011, the average annual rate of alcohol-related domestic violence fell 2.6 per cent. This compared with a 5.3 per cent drop in other alcohol-related assaults.


Mr Scipione said the visible effects of excess drinking on weekends and at major events was the ‘‘tip’’ of the issue, but domestic violence was emerging as the ‘‘iceberg’’ of alcohol policy in NSW.


‘‘That’s what worries me: when there are incentives given to people to come in and fill up the car [with alcohol] and if you wanted to buy it over the bar you would have severe restrictions,’’ Mr Scipione said.




Fosters and Diageo have criticised suggestions by the News South Wales police commissioner Andrew Scipione to revise alcohol advertising by adding restrictions that prohibit it from appearing on television before 8:30pm.


The Police Commissioner blamed alcohol sellers for the high rate in domestic violence and cited alcohol advertising for contributing to the problem. However members of the alcohol industry have reiterated that their advertising is aimed at adults who have the right to the product knowledge conveyed through advertising.


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Ban on alcohol advertising misses the point: Foster’s

Foster’s and Diageo have both rejected suggestions by the NSW police chief of a ban on alcohol advertising on television before 8.30pm.


 In a wide-ranging sermon about alcohol-related harm, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione today inferred bottle shops were to blame for high rates of domestic violence.


Alcohol advertising was also on his radar, with the police chief quoting a national poll conducted for the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, published last month, which showed 69 per cent of adults supported a ban on alcohol advertising on television before 8.30pm.


But Foster’s spokesman Jeremy Griffith told TheShout that advertising “drives brand choice not consumption”.


“The fact that alcohol consumption per person has been either declining or flat-lining for 30-plus years, despite millions of dollars spent in advertising, highlights this point,” he said.


“Our per capita consumption now sits at around 20 per cent below its peak (reached in the 70’s) and continues to fall,” Griffith said.


A Diageo spokesperson said consumers have every right to have brand and product information communicated to them.


“All our products are aimed at adults, and therefore all our advertising is aimed at adult audiences. Not only is this sound marketing, it is also part of our ongoing commitment to responsible drinking in our community.”